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Why Putin Replaced His Top Military Commander


Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Russia’s top military commander for the “special operation” in Ukraine has been replaced. General Sergei Surovikin, charged with leading the attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and appointed only three months ago, has been replaced by Valery Gerasimov. Surovikin has effectively been demoted to Gerasimov’s deputy, suggesting Putin is not satisfied with the lack of progress on the ground. There are fears that another change in leadership also suggests new preparations for another invasion, with Ukraine repeatedly warning of the potential for Belarus to serve as a launchpad. Russia is now claiming to have taken control of the Ukrainian salt mine town Soledar after months of battle. Ukrainian officials have countered Russian claims, saying that the announcement is further "information noise".

The controversial MoU that Turkey wrangled with Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2019 on a new maritime border that has angered both Greece and Egypt is hitting a new phase of tension. Greece is now very loudly proceeding with exploration and drilling off the island of Crete, where Exxon is operating with the Greeks. This area overlaps with the “common” maritime claims of Turkey and Libya (at least, the part of Libya currently tenuously controlled by the GNU). The Greeks say Exxon is unphased by Turkey and Libya’s GNU and plans to accelerate exploration by a year. At the…

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